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# Taming graph kernels with random features

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:5964-5977, 2023.

#### Abstract

We introduce in this paper the mechanism of graph random features (GRFs). GRFs can be used to construct unbiased randomized estimators of several important kernels defined on graphs’ nodes, in particular the regularized Laplacian kernel. As regular RFs for non-graph kernels, they provide means to scale up kernel methods defined on graphs to larger networks. Importantly, they give substantial computational gains also for smaller graphs, while applied in downstream applications. Consequently, GRFs address the notoriously difficult problem of cubic (in the number of the nodes of the graph) time complexity of graph kernels algorithms. We provide a detailed theoretical analysis of GRFs and an extensive empirical evaluation: from speed tests, through Frobenius relative error analysis to kmeans graph-clustering with graph kernels. We show that the computation of GRFs admits an embarrassingly simple distributed algorithm that can be applied if the graph under consideration needs to be split across several machines. We also introduce a (still unbiased) quasi Monte Carlo variant of GRFs, q-GRFs, relying on the so-called reinforced random walks that might be used to optimize the variance of GRFs. As a byproduct, we obtain a novel approach to solve certain classes of linear equations with positive and symmetric matrices.